Aim is to conduct multiple missions simultaneously
India is planning to set up two more missile testing ranges with a number of missions coming up in the next few years.
Top Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) officials said that with the present Integrated Test Range off the coast of Odisha getting “overloaded,” plans were on to establish similar facilities along the East Coast.
Need to cover more area
“We need to extend and augment our range capabilities geographically. We need to cover more area,” one of the officials told The Hindu while declining to identify the places.
The official said that each of the upcoming facilities would be a full-fledged testing range to support both short-range and long-range missions. It would have a launch control centre, a few launch pads, a blockhouse and state-of-the-art communication network, besides permanent monitoring stations such as telemetry and electro-optical tracking.
According to him, a number of tests would be coming up simultaneously in future and there was a need to expand the activities to multiple places so that more missions could be conducted at the same time.
Over two-three years
Initially to begin as an interim test range and later an integrated test range, the new facilities, to be given shape within two to three years, would enable DRDO missile technologists to have a nationwide range. These ranges would be acting in tandem to track the performance of a missile over long distances.
Pointing out that very few countries had missile testing ranges, flight testing or land ranges for conducting trials, like India does, starting from battle tanks to air defence, he said the country’s geography permitted India to have them at multiple places.
Besides the two ranges along the East Coast, the DRDO was also planning to establish a Floating Test Range, which would include radars and launch facilities on a ship, another official said.
Problems relating to safety and other issues could be overcome through a Floating Test Range, which could be used for testing missiles relating to air defence or ship-based Dhanush missiles.